Behind the scenes of 5 producers controlling and shaping today’s hip-hop world.
5. Noah Shebib aka 40
Photo: XXL Mag
30 year-old Noah "40" Shebib may be the oldest producer on this list, but has by far the most impressive resume. Defined by his complex ambient synth-filled sounds, and his unwavering loyalty to rapper Drake, Shebib has made his mark on hip-hop. Shebib has redefined popular music by creating down-tempo sounds that have found well-deserved success.
Notable Works: "I'm Single" (Lil' Wayne), "Fuckin' Problems" (A$AP Rocky ft. Drake, 2Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar), "Hold On We're Going Home" (Drake ft. Majid Jordan)
4. Mike WiLL Made-It
Michael Williams, better known as Mike WiLL Made-It, has been producing big tracks for the hip-hop industry for years. He recently became a notable name gathering a minor celebrity status after his much publicized production and mixing of Miley Cyrus' new album Bangerz. WiLL's production features a range of influences, but roots itself in a southern style of heavy bass and mid-tempo production.
Notable Works: "We Can't Stop" (Miley Cyrus), "Bandz Make Her Dance" (Juicy J ft. Lil' Wayne and 2Chainz), "No Lie" (2Chainz ft. Drake), "Pour it Up" (Rihanna)
Boi-1da, originally born in Kingston, Jamaica, moved to Canada at the age of three and found a home in Ajax a suburb of Toronto. 1da quickly established himself as a prodigy in the art of production by winning three consecutive Battle of Beatmakers Championships by the age of 18, with his signature air horns and dancehall/reggae infused sounds. 1da is an artist known for his collaborative efforts and has produced with many artists and producers both in Canada and the U.S. leading to accreditation on many Grammy award winning albums.
Notable Works: "Not Afraid" (Eminem), "Miss Me" (Drake ft. Lil Wayne), "Best I Ever Had" (Drake), "ChiRaq" (Nicki Minaj ft. Lil Herb)
2. DJ Mustard
DJ Mustard has imprinted his signature style on many of hip-hop's most recent success stories, the most notable being his Compton neighborhood rapper and industry partner YG 4hunnid. Mustard's signature resides in his rudimentary beats that allow for lyrical creativity and emanate a resemblance to the drill styled beats coming from Chicago. Each Mustard track can be easily identified by the tag "Mustard on the beat, ho!" a lyric taken from YG's track "I'm Good."
Notable Works: "Rack City" (Tyga), "I'm Different" (2Chainz), "Na Na" (Trey Songz), "My Nigga" (YG ft Jeezy and Rich Homie Quan)
Chauncey Hollis aka Hit-Boy began his career on Myspace connecting with hip-hop production godfather Polow Da Don. Immediately Hit-Boy gained traction through his diverse production style that covered everything from up-beat tempo tracks with samples to melodic r&b styled sounds. This dynamic style quickly drew the attention of none other than Yeezy himself, who was quick to sign Hollis to G.O.O.D. Music's production wing, Very G.O.O.D. Beats.
Notable Works: "Niggas in Paris" (Kanye West and Jay-Z), "XO" (Beyoncè), "Stronger" (Mary J Blige), "Goldie" (A$AP Rocky)
By: Ben Slavich